Nightbirds on the Noyo River


I was out on a late night walk. Late June in Fort Bragg has some nearly summer nights and this was one of them. Shirt sleeve weather – if your sleeves happen to be long and you bring along a covering for later. Rambling through town in my random fashion, I came across a logging road that came up along the Noyo River... A mile in, the road crossed the river. Standing in the middle of the bridge on that silent night I could hear the Nightbirds. Down where the river meets the sea there is a horn that blows caution to approaching vessels and I could hear how it echoed up along the river as it passed me by.

The next night was just as lovely and I walked back, this time loaded down with my recording gear. The recording begins a bit before 10 pm and I ran for an hour or so Out of that hour there was a clear span of about 23 minutes that had no people, distant sirens or airplanes.... I count that as a win.

The bridge crosses at a bend in the river, so the way the mics are positioned the right channel is closer to the ocean and the mics are positioned facing up river. Way in the background, you can hear the distant roar of the surf. This location was about a mile and a half from the open sea and high tide was about an hour earlier. The sound of the ocean is almost a constant presence in that town. You can hear the night birds discoursing on whatever topics it is they like to discuss that late. The occasional honking of the warning horn bounces up the river moving from the left channel to the right. and you can hear the quiet sound of the river currents flowing against the pillars of the bridge..

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